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Poster: leftwinger57 Date: Jan 24, 2013 5:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: from venue to venue

I was just trying to think back about how and when the jump from nice compact shows turned into these huge extravagansa.
The only thing I came up with was when the Stones in 71' came and played MSG w/ Stevie Wonder opening.All other shows to this point were either in theaters, clubs, park band shells and I think that's it.Of course the reason is simple supply and demand warrants the bigger venue and w/ that the big pay day.
I paid $25 for the Stones show and that was a scalped price. Now your lucky if you can get in at all then pay through the nose for a ticket.Any one have any earlier experience w/ a larger venue and increased/inflated ticket prices.Beatles at Shea come to mind but I was not there.

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Poster: ColdRain108 Date: Jan 24, 2013 9:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: from venue to venue

My first show, the 1980 NYE show, cost me 12.50$

For me it was late '83 when everything turned into huge venues.

1982 was the last year the GD played the NYE run at the Oakland Aud. In '82 I saw the Boys play at the Warfield (Feb), The Greek Theater - which seemed like a large venue at the time. Red Rocks - a huge venue by my prespective. Frost, another nice friendly cozy venue. Then the NYE run at the Aud. So far nothing larger than 10K. In '83 I saw them at the Hult Center in Eugene, tiny, cozy and comfortable, made the Greek Theater look huge! Later that year I moved my base of operations to CT...enter the huge basketball/hockey arenas - MSG, Hartford Civic, Spectrum etc. NYE was at the SF Civic (now the Bill Graham). The next year started out with New Haven, Nassua and Providence...then I went back to west for the Greek Theater run - it now looked like a small venue, it would be the "small venue" from '84 until they stopped playing there in '89. I never went to any of the Giant's Stadium, RFK, Foxboro etc east coast jumbo stadium shows. SPAC and Autzen were the biggest venues I saw them play at.

Woodstock seemed like the template for the huge festival thing of the early 70's, with multiple bands and 100's of thousands of people. But that died out for the Dead after the retirement, seems like 76-78 were mostly smaller venues again, occasional big show like a Day on the Green, but more like college stadiums and Orpheum/Fox sized theaters.

I wonder how much that US festival appearance in '82 exposed them to the greater public? Made them a "classic rock" band. More mass media exposure, the secret was let out and soon all Dead shows became a difficult ticket. In '83 I walked up w/o tickets to each of the MSG and Hartford shows that fall, no problem getting tickets at all. A year or so later, damn near impossible to get tickets at the show. I got shut out once at Brenden Byrne...had to run from the security - a common story there.

The crowds were very different. West coast it was Deadheads, East Coast it was 50% classic rock fratboys who would just as soon beat your ass as pass the pipe. That was when I first heard the GD mentioned at the same time as Iron Maiden or ZZ Top or whatever other mega radio rock bands. In the SF area if you ran into an unknown deadhead at the store you would yak it up, exchange phone numbers and then meet at a show like long lost brothers. I found out quickly that was not the case in the east.

I came to appreciate the different nature of the Dead experience from coast to coast, the energy of the more agressive east coast crowd lent an edge to the Dead's music...well the Dead forced it on me as my first show in the east was the St Stephen MSG show - can you say eruption? It was a mightly impressive show of power! How is a tape going to give you the feeling of being in the middle of NYC while the Dead crank out a long lost tune, that regardless of taper type quality analysis, BLEW THE ROOF OFF OF THE PLACE! There is nothing known to man that can recreate that experience...especially walking out after the show and finding yourself in the middle of Manhattan - with a blown mind.